Mark got his CPAP machine yesterday!
CPAP = Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
A couple of weeks ago, Mark went to the doctor for a minor ailment, and happened to mention that he was TIRED all the time. The doctor asked a couple of questions, and decided to send him for a sleep analysis at a local "sleep lab". Up until this time, I didn't know such a thing existed! Well, he went for an overnight evaluation, where he was wired up to electrodes and sensors while he slept, and the results indicated that he does indeed have sleep apnea! I am a pretty light sleeper, and for years I have heard him hold his breath at night, at which time I would poke him in the ribs and tell him to "Breathe!" But who knew there was a real medical treatment for that?
The CPAP machine is about the size of a shoebox. A flexible hose connects the machine to clear plastic face mask that covers the nose and mouth, and straps around the head. It works by pushing air into the airway at a pre-set pressure, determined by the respiratory technician at the lab, in order to keep the airway open and prevent apnea ( episodes when breathing repeatedly starts and stops).
Mark is SO excited about the possibility of not feeling tired! He said he feels as if his head is in a fog half the time. He is usually fine in the morning, but by mid-afternoon he really starts to drag, and generally falls asleep on the couch every day after work. The doctor described a whole list of conditions that could be related to sleep deprivation and sleep apnea, so "the machine" is very welcome. But it is kind of "space-age" to get into bed with someone wearing a face mask connected by a long tube to a machine that is humming along - not loudly - sounds pretty much like a humidifier running. When he talks while wearing the mask, he sounds like Darth Vader....